Tag Archives: Choices

TRANSITION

11 Sep

The DicBlog Pixtionary describes transition as a period of changing from one state to another. Other meanings include:

  • change
  • passage
  • move
  • transformation
  • conversion
  • metamorphosis
  • alteration
  • switch
  • progress
  • development

This was Sunday’s message presented by Pastor Brett Jones,  one of our senior pastors at Grace Church  http://gracechurchlive.com/locations/humble-campus/.  I have been considering some major changes in my life for many months now. Actually, the seed was planted a few years ago, but I had so many doubts and pre-conceived ideas about making any changes. I was fearful that I was too old and just not qualified to do what I dreamed of doing. I lacked the faith to follow through. So, even though I never really gave up on the idea I did do exactly what the following message is going to speak to. God knows just what we need and when we need it!

It’s not always easy to make changes, and some of us don’t like change at all, so we decide to stay right where we are continuing to do just what we do. Pastor Jones referred to a Scripture in Exodus where God’s people were calling out for help – they were suffering – they were being mistreated. God told Moses that He had heard their cries and seen their suffering, and that He had a plan to rescue them. :

  • The people were suffering and cried out to God
  • God heard them and He was concerned for them
  • God had a plan to rescue them
  • God already had an answer waiting, and a place to take them

Pastor Jones explained to us that God had already set the destination – He had already made preparations for them. What had to happen next was that the people had to recognize God was directing them. He sent someone to help them and they struggled with recognizing  the man God sent because he was just an ordinary like you and me. So, they began to question, criticize and complain. (Sound familiar?)

Many times we have mind-sets and pre-conceived ideas about the way our situations should work out. We can get so focused on that one idea that we literally don’t see the forest for the trees. We are unwilling to look at any other options.  So, we prefer to stay in our comfortable little world because at least we are familiar with it, and we let fear convince us that anything different would be too uncomfortable and too much trouble.

The truth is that remaining in the same rut (Charles Stanley calls a rut an open-ended grave), is much harder t10623321_270154349848682_7235250059908727006_ohan stepping out in faith toward what God has already prepared for us. Most of our limitations in life are given to us by us, according to Pastor Jones. We just aren’t willing to adjust our capacity to take a step forward. We focus on our shortcomings, our failures and our limitations instead of what God can do, but God has plans for us that we can’t even imagine!

God doesn’t get in a hurry and we shouldn’t either. I am impatient much of the time, as I imagine many are in today’s world. However; I’ve learned (the hard way) that God doesn’t expect me to be stressed, always hurrying, frustrated because I’m not meeting my own goals, and sometimes just plain weary.

Pastor Jones told us that when God gives us an opportunity He expects us to follow through. God wants us to grow to our maximum capacity, and maximize our opportunities.  One of the most powerful statements he made was that if we don’t have the capacity to do something, we will pull it down to our level.

Pastor Jones explained it this way; he likened it to the Israelites wandering around in the desert for 40 years when they could have made their trip in less than a couple of weeks. Look at what they did:

  • They continually complained about their situation
  • They blamed their leader because he didn’t do more for them
  • They doubted God and Moses and continued to mumble about their situation
  • They saw miracle after miracle but it wasn’t good enough for them, they still doubted God
  • They continually wanted to go back to slavery because it was what they knew
  • They didn’t have the capacity to move forward and enlarge their vision

As a result, all of the Israelites under the age of 20 were not allowed to receive the things God had planned to give them. Even Moses, himself, didn’t get to enter the Promised Land because he became frustrated and angry, and struck a rock demanding water from it instead of waiting on God.

We are all subject to the consequences of disobedience and rebellion. We sometimes believe that the way things are just isn’t  our fault. We limit ourselves so much to our small world that we fail to look up and see that God can, and will, save us if we ask Him and then let Him.

We need to ask God today for help in maximizing every opportunity He gives us, and to help us look beyond our own finite world. (Finite means something has an end or finishing point.) Let’s don’t look around us and determine our lives are dull, stale, a waste – or finished! Let’s look to God, the author and finisher of our faith, and follow as He leads us to our destination – with the full assurance and expectation of achieving all He has for us.

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Pre-Conceived Ideas

6 Aug

Father, You alone never fail me. You alone never change. You alone love me no matter how I act or behave, or fail. I never have to fear your rejection or separation from you. I never have to wonder if you have forgiven me when I mess up. Your love is the only perfect love.

  • John 5:1  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. NIV

This morning, as I went to prayer I was thinking about some of life’s disappointments and failures. As I meditated on it God began to lead me into the words of adoration above. There is complete rest in the knowledge that God is always on our side. He fights for us and no one can stand against us. The outcome may not always be what we think we want and it may not make us feel good. God is not in the business of making us feel good. He wants us to be complete in Him and He is continually working within us to cleanse and purify us.

Sometimes we don’t even know what is deep within our hearts until it begins to come out. Don’t stop that process. God wants us to let it out. He wants us to be aware of what is within us, otherwise we’ll stay the same. God doesn’t want us to  stay the same.

Charles Stanley says that a rut is an open-ended grave. God doesn’t want us in a rut. There are times when everything around us seems to be falling apart. I call those times “transition times”. I explain it as climbing a ladder and the feel of leaving the lower step to go to the next step. It’s that “in between” step when you know something is changing and you’re not sure just what it is. You’re also not sure you want to go there. God doesn’t want us to stay where we are. It has taken me a lifetime to figure that one out.

Every time I get comfortable God puts the ladder in front of me and says, “Climb”. I sometimes sit and stare at the ladder, knowing it’s going to lead me to another rung and I like the rung I’m on. However; the ladder doesn’t go away it stays IN the way until I start to climb again.

I can assure you that God’s plan for each one of us is so much better than we can imagine or think. If we could just trust Him, blindly, and keep climbing – what a wonder we would see in our lives. It’s never bad. It’s always better. Things might get a little out of whack around us, but Psalms 91: says:

  • He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.”
    3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers,and under his wings you will find refuge;his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side,ten thousand at your right hand,but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
    9 If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the LORD, who is my refuge — 10 then no harm will befall you,no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands,so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
    14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble,I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” NIV

Look at verse 7 – it says that a thousand may fall at your side . . .  that means to me that things might get a little crazy around us but we are still in His hand and if we’ll just stay there He will protect us.

I wish I had the words to tell each one reading this how much God loves you and how good He is. All of our failures and disappointments can’t even come close to His love and His goodness – His provision and His protection.

I encourage you to keep walking – put one foot in front of the other. Don’t let fear and panic get you to turn to your own methods. Trust Him. God honors our faith. As long as we do our best (not being perfect) God will direct our path and take us through the storm. It usually isn’t immediate. But, the storm will pass and you will be in a better place.

Give Him a chance. Let Him show you His love and His power. Put aside your fears, your pre-conceived ideas and you won’t be disappointed. God is bigger than mankind. We can’t even come close to understanding His ways or just what He’ll do to deliver us.

Taking matters into our own hands is like jumping off a building and then screaming to God on the way down, “Bless this stupid thing I’m doing, God”. Then we wonder what could have possibly gone wrong.

God Alone can make things right. Try it His way – just try it. He won’t fail you.

Do You Like The Path You’re On?

16 Jul

“You would like your path more if you knew what God is saving you from and/or what He is preparing you for.” I definitely connected with this statement from Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday  It brought to my mind many things that I have experienced in life but didn’t understand at the time. However; walking with God is a walk of faith – there are many things we won’t understand.

My mind tells my heart that if I understood “why” – then I could cope a little better. But, my heart knows better. My heart knows that I serve a God who loves me so much and wants nothing but the best for me. He has proven Himself to me many times – over and over again.

Life can be hard. It has taken me a very long time to realize that the choices I make definitely take me off God’s path at times.  Making some of life’s major decisions without seeking God first cost me years of uncomfortable consequences. Had I sought God and then obeyed His direction, I could have avoided many of the hardships I have faced in my life.

I look back at the hopes and dreams I had, and how I imagined how wonderful my life would be. I regret that I did not have a better understanding of the weight each of my decisions would have on my life – the present and the future. If I could have a “do-over” I wouldn’t do it. But, knowing now what it has taken me a life-time to learn, I would definitely be much more careful and deliberate about how I made my way down life’s paths.

I can see now that some of the things that caused me pain and heartache were my own fault. At the time they were happening, it didn’t seem so. I hate to admit it, but a great deal of my choices in life were decisions I made myself – not wanting advice from anyone or without seeking God first.

I did “pray” on the run – I muttered a quick prayer and told God what I wanted – after I had already jumped into whatever it was I was about to do. I thought my plan for my life was  whatever I wanted it to be. I never realized how self-absorbed I was. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t realize God had a plan for my life and had I just allowed Him to, He would have directed me into the right path.

That all being said, even when we are on God’s path there can be difficulties. God’s path is not a straight road to a problem free environment. He cares more about our relationship with Him and our spiritual growth than our comfort. Though that may not be music to our ears, God’s ways and His plan for our lives bring great rewards in ways that can’t be imagined or described.

The incredible miracle of it all is that He is with us all along. He watches over us, and is always patient with us. He uses some of the consequences of our obstinate choices to teach us that He loves us and He can still turn our situation into something good.

I am thankful, beyond words, to now have a personal relationship with the God of the universe – the God of Abraham – the way HE intended. Though my path is not always easy mentally, and/or physically – I finally have the peace that I am on His path and that if I stay on it, He will keep me at peace and He will walk with me through every valley – AND – I will overcome any obstacle as long as I put my faith and trust in Him and not try to do it by myself.

God has a plan for each one of us. Don’t waste your time trying to do anything without Him. His Word promises that he will direct our paths, but first we have to talk to Him to find out what that path is. Ps. 199:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” NIV

Keep in mind that a lamp provides just enough light on a path to see only what is right in front of us. We don’t have to know what lies ahead. We need to be content to know that when God leads us we can trust Him no matter where that path goes. As long as we let Him lead we can’t go wrong, and even when we don’t understand what is happening we can trust that as long as we are following Him the outcome with be to our benefit.

The key to it all is that His WORD (the Bible) is the lamp – without it we can’t see where we’re going!

Do You Like The Path You’re On?

16 Jul

“You would like your path more if you knew what God is saving you from and/or what He is preparing you for.” I definitely connected with this statement from Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday  It brought to my mind many things that I have experienced in life but didn’t understand at the time. However; walking with God is a walk of faith – there are many things we won’t understand.

My mind tells my heart that if I understood “why” – then I could cope a little better. But, my heart knows better. My heart knows that I serve a God who loves me so much and wants nothing but the best for me. He has proven Himself to me many times – over and over again.

Life can be hard. It has taken me a very long time to realize that the choices I make definitely take me off God’s path at times.  Making some of life’s major decisions without seeking God first cost me years of uncomfortable consequences. Had I sought God and then obeyed His direction, I could have avoided many of the hardships I have faced in my life.

I look back at the hopes and dreams I had, and how I imagined how wonderful my life would be. I regret that I did not have a better understanding of the weight each of my decisions would have on my life – the present and the future. If I could have a “do-over” I wouldn’t do it. But, knowing now what it has taken me a life-time to learn, I would definitely be much more careful and deliberate about how I made my way down life’s paths.

I can see now that some of the things that caused me pain and heartache were my own fault. At the time they were happening, it didn’t seem so. I hate to admit it, but a great deal of my choices in life were decisions I made myself – not wanting advice from anyone or without seeking God first.

I did “pray” on the run – I muttered a quick prayer and told God what I wanted – after I had already jumped into whatever it was I was about to do. I thought my plan for my life was  whatever I wanted it to be. I never realized how self-absorbed I was. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t realize God had a plan for my life and had I just allowed Him to, He would have directed me into the right path.

That all being said, even when we are on God’s path there can be difficulties. God’s path is not a straight road to a problem free environment. He cares more about our relationship with Him and our spiritual growth than our comfort. Though that may not be music to our ears, God’s ways and His plan for our lives bring great rewards in ways that can’t be imagined or described.

The incredible miracle of it all is that He is with us all along. He watches over us, and is always patient with us. He uses some of the consequences of our obstinate choices to teach us that He loves us and He can still turn our situation into something good.

I am thankful, beyond words, to now have a personal relationship with the God of the universe – the God of Abraham – the way HE intended. Though my path is not always easy mentally, and/or physically – I finally have the peace that I am on His path and that if I stay on it, He will keep me at peace and He will walk with me through every valley – AND – I will overcome any obstacle as long as I put my faith and trust in Him and not try to do it by myself.

God has a plan for each one of us. Don’t waste your time trying to do anything without Him. His Word promises that he will direct our paths, but first we have to talk to Him to find out what that path is. Ps. 199:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” NIV

Keep in mind that a lamp provides just enough light on a path to see only what is right in front of us. We don’t have to know what lies ahead. We need to be content to know that when God leads us we can trust Him no matter where that path goes. As long as we let Him lead we can’t go wrong, and even when we don’t understand what is happening we can trust that as long as we are following Him the outcome with be to our benefit.

The key to it all is that His WORD (the Bible) is the lamp – without it we can’t see where we’re going!

God’s Ways

26 Aug

In today’s society it is hard to hear God above all the noises that surround us.  My biggest heart’s desire is to please God, and to do the right thing – meaning – the thing God wants me to do.

As part of the older generation I find it difficult to keep up with all the social media. There are so many good things about it – I love being connected all the time.  It’s kind of like getting out of the house without getting out of the house, or having company without having to clean the house.

Obviously, there are many “words” flying around us all the time – videos, text messages, emails, Hangout messages, Twitter, Instagram, and so on, and so on. It is easy to take our focus off God’s voice or His Word, with all the other “voices” coming at us – almost impossible to avoid all the “chatter”. Some people even need to have constant music, gaming, entertainment, streaming videos and constant text messages to be at peace.

Hearing God over all that isn’t easy. It can be done, but we have to remember to listen for His still small voice coming from among all the other voices. I suppose it’s kind of natural that as I age I rather like things a little slower, but whether we like things slow or fast we need to reserve a place for God, not leaving Him out.

If we’re too slow we can miss what He has for  us – if we’re too fast, we tend to get lost in all the noise around us. God’s ways are amazing, perfect for us, but we can either be too tired and weary or in too big a hurry to hear what He has to say about an issue. If that happens we can find ourselves in a precarious position. God IS our security. We need to hear Him before we jump off the cliff of indecision – not call out to Him on our way down to bless our jump, or to save us from hitting the ground!

Let’s get it right the first time. The way we do that is to do  it God’s way. Of course, it will probably mean we don’t get to jump in (or off) and then cry out for help. It means we take our petitions to Him first and wait for the answer. We don’t like that word – wait – not in today’s world. Yet, if we walk in God’s ways, we can actually save wasted time by doing it right the first time.

Walking with God is a choice, and being consistent about it isn’t always easy. Sometimes our adrenalin is just rushing and the last thing we want to do  is take a few minutes of our time to talk to God.  We decide to talk to Him on the way off the cliff. The thing is, that few minutes with God could save us so much unnecessary anguish.

Take time to get before God, tune into His frequency even if  it’s just for a minute or so – especially if you have a “red flag” in the pit of your stomach or feel uneasy in any way. The Wi-Fi connection you have with Him is better than any of the others. Just stop a moment and call out to Him – He will reply. He may tell you to be still – to wait. If He does, it is for a very good reason. Listen for Him. Trust Him. Obey God’s ways.

 

Do You Live in Bondage or Walk in Freedom?

31 Oct

WHAT DO I PAY FOR FREEDOM?

We all want to be free. What does that mean to you? If you love the God of Abraham, freedom comes by walking in obedience to Him. To be able to do that you must first know Him.  You must be born again by inviting Jesus Christ into your heart. To know Him you must spend time reading His inspired Word written down for us in the Holy Bible. This is where true freedom is.

God wants only the best for us. Satan tries every way he can to deceive us; his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. Some have unknowingly tried to make the God of Abraham like pagan gods by worshiping an “image” of whatever they have made Him out to be.  Instead He is our Father in Heaven who wants to know us personally and develop a relationship with us – a personal relationship.

Serving God is not following a set of rules, nor is it just attending services to fulfill an obligation. Serving God is an honor and a privilege. He loves you and me with a love we can’t understand. We have to use our faith to receive it. The more time we spend getting to know Him, the more we are drawn into His presence and the more our spiritual eyes and ears are opened to His ways and His truth.

WHAT IS FREEDOM?

Freedom means different things to different people. God has a plan, a pattern for our lives – a road map, if you will. He didn’t just toss us in this world and tell us to sink or swim. If you belong to Him, He is with you always and will never, ever leave you. He will walk with you through whatever comes your way. He doesn’t always remove the pitfalls but He does pick us up and dust us off when we fall down. He sets us back on our feet and stays with us, continuing to guide us.

If you are a believer in the God of Abraham and you want to live a life dedicated to Him, you are expected to walk in obedience to Him at all times. You can’t know His will for your life if you don’t know Him. We make it so hard on ourselves. The Bible tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That doesn’t mean we won’t have problems. If becoming a Christian meant being free from all problems . . . well, it just doesn’t.

CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES

We face a world full of choices and decisions every day. Some are easy – most are not. Let’s discuss the ones that have us really bound tightly. We have a problem and we take it to God in prayer. We tell Him the problem and then tell Him what solution we need.   ????   Hummmm, it really doesn’t work that way. We can certainly tell God what we want and how we would like the answer to come.  Then comes the hard part. If our minds are set on only receiving our answer the way we want it we may be in for many disappointments. Preconceived ideas generally set us up for disappointment. The Bible tells us that God’s ways are higher than our ways and that we cannot fathom the depths of His understanding. In other words, He has plans for us that we can’t even understand, let alone ask for.  We ask Him for something based on our limited knowledge of how things should be worked out.

GOD IS FULL OF SURPRISES!

The most exciting thing about God is He is full of surprises. His answers will always be the right ones. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Also understand that when God answers prayer it isn’t always a “yes”.  It can be “wait” or . . . “NO”! Oops – not what we wanted to hear.

THIS IS WHERE THE FREEDOM COMES IN . . .

If you limit God to what you know and what you can see you are possibly setting yourself up for a great fall. You are also in danger of becoming “bound” – Encarta Dictionary defines bound as “. . . obliged to do something or behave in a particular way”.  Two definitions from the Thesaurus for “bound” are “obligated” and “constrained”.  That is opposite from “freedom”.

It’s a matter of the Spirit being in control – yielding our Spirit to God for His guidance. He loves us like we love our children. He wants the best for us and has the ability to make it happen. He also has the ability to “see around the corner” – He knows what is coming, we don’t. His answers sometimes aren’t what we want to hear. Yielding to God is not always easy. It means yielding (submitting) to Him. Many times it means we don’t get our way. This is where trust comes in. If you will notice, when you let God have His way you are putting your trust and “faith” in Him. Remember, faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Scripture also tells us that without faith we cannot please God.

NOW FOR THE HARD PART

When God answers with “No” or “Wait” or leads you in another way, your emotions (soul) kicks in and you want to dig your heels in – have it your way. You can. But when you do, you have lost your freedom. Say what? You heard me correctly. When you pick and choose which of God’s directions you will follow, you are not actually being obedient.

Let’s say you pray that God remove you from a situation and you tell Him how you want it done. He answers by sending just what you need to be removed from the situation, but it’s different from the terms you told Him you wanted. So, instead of following God’s plan and being removed from the situation, you hold out for doing it your way. In the meantime tension builds, stress becomes harder to deal with and everything turns out to be a mess. Then, the “way out” God offered you may not still be available or even if it is, you have delayed your freedom by trying your own way first. If you had done it His way immediately, you could have avoided many of the problems and most of the stress.

That is sort of a simple way of saying it, but I think the message is clear. We have freedom of choice – God gave us a free will. But, we have the honor and the privilege of having His Holy Spirit as our counselor and our guide to give us the perfect solution to our situation. It doesn’t mean we will always immediately like the way God has shown us. But, as we step out in faith we will eventually see that His ways are better than our ways and He has a reason for wanting us to follow the map He gives us.

Don’t Give Up Too Soon!

3 Jul

The LORD selected Joshua to replace Moses after his death. Joshua and Caleb were the ONLY two men from the entire generation of Israelites, delivered from slavery out of Egypt, who were allowed to enter the land God promised to give them! The only others who were allowed to go were the children under the age of 20 – the new generation. Moses wasn’t even allowed to go because even He lost his temper and disobeyed God. (Numbers 20)

Please see the importance of the faith and obedience of Joshua and Caleb. Not only were their lives at stake, but so were the lives of many others. They were the minority when it came to trusting God and receiving the promise of an abundant life. Instead of seeing their enemies as giants, they knew that since God had promised them this land that He would give them the wisdom, the knowledge and the strength to win the victory. The other men just looked at the negative side of things and let fear guide them. I also think they were disappointed that the land wasn’t just going to be handed over to them. They had to fight for it.

How often do we do the same thing? If we happen upon difficulty – or even what seems to be an impossibility – we don’t even try. We are defeated before the fight begins. Battles make us strong. Our faith in God is stretched and know this – God honors faith! Scripture teaches us that “It is impossible to please God without faith”. Keep in mind – if we can see the outcome – we are not walking in faith.

*The first men sent to spy out the land God had promised them went down in history as cowards and losers. They never even got to see what God had for them because of their doubt and unbelief. And – Because of their fear.

*They limited themselves – God didn’t! He gave them every opportunity to be winners and to achieve great and wonderful things.

*It was their own decisions – their own choices that brought them a sad end to God’s promise of a “land flowing with milk and honey”. Instead, they finished out their lives wandering the hot, dry desert.

*In other words, we can’t just SAY we believe, we have to ACT like we believe. We have to continue to walk in faith, believing God, taking Him at His Word and ACTING on it!

We all face giants along our journey. Some of them look impossible to overcome. I wonder how many wonderful gifts from God we have lost because we gave up too soon?

Please be encouraged to go full steam ahead with God. Do not limit Him. Do not doubt Him. It’s okay to ask questions and to check things out. Scripture tells us to do that. But when He gives His approval or says “No” to something. The best thing for us to do is to believe God – not to limit Him or to challenge Him. Only HE knows what our future holds and what great things we can accomplish as we pray and obey!

When Circumstances Take You Off Guard . . .

10 Jun

Chapter 91 of Psalms gives us great assurance that we will prevail in every area of our lives as we dwell in the shelter of God. It IS possible. God promises us that He is always with us. No matter what we face in life, He is walking beside us. We can trust Him. He is our protector. We don’t have to be afraid.

• Taken from Ps 91:1-10

• 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

We can trust that God has protected us from many traps that the enemy has set for us. By His divine grace He preserves our spirit and protects us from many temptations that the enemy sends our way. God is constantly watching over us to protect us from the things we cannot see.

• 4 He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Tenderly God covers us with His wings and keeps a sheltered at all times. Many things are happening in the spiritual realm that we are unaware of. However; God is aware.

• 5 You will not fear the terror of night, the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
• 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

God tells us all throughout His word not to fear. We don’t have to be afraid in the night or during the day. When we look around and see all of this happening the enemy will use it to bring fear to our minds. Things may be happening all around us but God’s Word says that even though 1,000 may fall at our sides and 10,000 at our right hands it won’t come near us.

We all obviously come very close to the happenings around us. Sometimes we find ourselves physically and emotionally in the middle of it all. But, our God promises in this Scripture to be there with us. He will also walk us through whatever situation we find ourselves facing. He will lead us out. In the event we do face death, we are promised a mansion in heaven and eternal life, if we make Jesus our Lord and Savior. So, nothing that comes our way can touch us that God does not allow. His plan is to always work things out for our good.

As we walk daily with the Lord and develop an intimate relationship with Him, He will make Himself known to us in so many ways. God knows just how to get our attention. He knows what will speak to our hearts. His desire is for us to trust Him with all of our heart and soul, and with our minds.

It has been said that worry is suffering in advance. Fear is not from God. Fear will haunt us continually if we allow it too. God has given us everything we need to fight the spiritual battles that continually arise to defeat us. God has given us His Word with promise after promise to protect us, to guide us, to warn us of things to come and to keep us at peace if we will keep our mind stayed on Him.

To keep our minds stayed on God indicates that we have a choice to make when confronted with situations that would cause fear, frustration, anger or anything else that would try to disrupt the peace and joy that God has so freely given to us. We can choose not to fret and worry. This is not to say that at times we may be caught off guard. Our enemy, satan, strives to catch us off guard. Our first response may be panic. Our minds begin to race and our emotions are deeply stirred. We immediately begin to come up with a plan of how to handle the current situation.

On the other hand, as our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father develops, we will soon learn how to turn immediately to God when faced with surprise attacks from our enemy, satan.

• 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the LORD, who is my refuge — 10 then no harm will befall you no disaster will come near your tent.

In this quote from Psalms, God wants us to see that there is nothing that can harm us. He is there for us in every situation we face. Yes, we will have difficulty in our lives. There will be circumstances arise that will try to defeat us. We will eventually learn that our first response should always be to call on God. He is there and He will guide us and direct us. He will encourage us and reassure us that He is there to see us through whatever it is that seems bigger than life at the moment.

Spending time daily in prayer and with God’s word is the answer to developing our relationship with Him and allowing Him access to our hearts so that we can make necessary changes in the way we think and feel about the circumstances that surround us.

So, You Think You Are Not Good Enough!

4 Jun

After we read the story of Ruth and Boaz, none of us can say we are not good enough to be a child of God. Or, that we are not good enough to serve Him in some way. We look at our past – our history – where we came from. We look at all the mistakes we made and we are aware that all our friends and family know just what a mess we made out of our lives. So, we let our enemy, satan, convince us that we are not good enough to serve God in any special way.

Ruth was born into a pagan world, serving and worshiping idols. God presented Himself to her and to her sister-in-law, Orpah, by way of Naomi and her son. Ruth chose to follow God, Orpah did not.

Boaz was the son of Rahab, the harlot. God used Rahab to help His men at Jericho. She recognized that God was at work there and helped His people. As a result, God saved her and her family. Boaz, came from that family.

If you have asked Him to forgive you and invited Him into your heart, He has heard you and you are His. Scripture tells us that He scatters our sins as far from Him as the East is from the West! God remembers our sins no more. When you try to bring them up to Him, He doesn’t know what you are talking about.

Even if your friends and family remember every mistake you have made. God doesn’t. Just keep walking the walk. Listen to what God says about you. Keep reading His Word and let Him show you what He thinks about you. If you have invited Him into your life, you are born again. You are a new person in Christ. He sees you as whole and complete, through the blood of Jesus.

Jesus was persecuted, too. He did not defend Himself. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures tell us that “He spoke not a word” when people mocked Him and spat on Him. He knew who He was. He knew whom He belonged to. Let Him be your example.

Walking with God takes courage – He will provide that courage. You will find your strength in Him. Be constant. Keep walking with God and listening to Him. Be obedient, no matter how hard. In time, God will prove Himself to you and you will know that you know that you know, He is real. No one will ever be able to take that from you.

Ephesians tells us to stay away from silly arguments. A non-believer does not understand and will never understand until they give their lives to God. You be their example. You be their light. They are watching – no matter what they say, they will see God at work in your life.

Be encouraged. God loves you. He is not like us. We cannot come close to understanding His love. Let Him love you. Accept His forgiveness and forgive yourself. Trust God and let Him make you whole again.

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